26 September 2023

SafeWork pair join up to target workplace falls

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SafeWork NSW has joined forces with WorkSafe Victoria to help tradies on the NSW/Victoria border reduce their risk of dangerous falls.

Director of Construction Services Regional at SafeWork NSW, Laurence Richey said the four-day operation was underway this week (22–25 March) and would see the two Authorities team up to complete joint inspections of local construction businesses in Albury and Wodonga.

Mr Richey said residential construction in the region was booming, resulting in a large increase in the construction of new residential houses.

“During the upcoming blitz, SafeWork Inspectors will be focussing on all construction hazards, particularly in the areas of site fencing, amenities, housekeeping, electrical and work at heights,” Mr Richey said.

“We encourage all builders to maintain a continual focus on these key issues and contact SafeWork NSW on 131 050 if they need any assistance.”

Executive Director of Health and Safety at WorkSafe Victoria, Narelle Beer said employers in the construction industry must do more to prevent workers from being injured or killed as a result of falls from a height.

“The risk of falls from heights in the construction industry is very real and can have heartbreaking and life-changing consequences,” Dr Beer said.

“Since the start of 2018 there have been 13 fatalities in Victoria’s construction industry as a result of falls from height,” she said.

“Every one of these tragic deaths was preventable.”

Dr Beer said that last year WorkSafe accepted 402 claims from construction workers injured in a fall from height, almost a third of the 1,323 claims in their category.

She said these included falls from ladders (43.1 per cent), traffic and ground surfaces (12.7 per cent), steps and stairs (9.2 per cent), buildings (8.5 per cent) and scaffolding (7.5 per cent).

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